Is “passion” a legitimate marketing strategy?

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”
~Benjamin Franklin ~

Is “passion” a legitimate marketing strategy?

I ask this question because you hear about it all the time. And many successful
photographers rant about how important it is to have passion. It is, in many
opinions of many photographer, the key ingredient.
In my opinion there is more to success than just passion. Before I explain
my position, let me quote a few more established and credible sources
on this topic.
One of my favorite motivators and kick in the butt coaches is
Larry Winget. On a recent blog post of his he talked about passion. Here
is a bit of that before I rant on some more with my own thoughts….

“I don’t want a “barely controllable emotion” any where near me or my
money. I don’t trust emotions. Emotions wane. They are like the tides, they
come and they go. Instead, I want someone with a total commitment to
achieving results through hard work and excellence. Don’t you?

I know that even after the logical argument I have presented here, many of
you will still be screaming about the need for passion and defending your own
passion. That’s fine. I know that people are in love with “passion” and the
feelings that the word evokes. I believe that’s because passion requires very
little from us while hard work and excellence require almost everything from
us
.”
 
Steve Jobs also had something to say about passion, and his
comments are more in line with my own. However, when
you dig deep down, we’re all saying the same thing. I think
the key is to understand that passion is in line with desire.
But we also need to nose to the grindstone. Steve Jobs
said that without passion (or, I guess you could say doing something
you really, really liked. I also think doing something you feel compelled,
or driven by, or committed to, counts)
it would be impossible
to stay focused and get the job done.
Without passion, he says, most folks would quit. He calls them
the sane ones. Because those who keep going are, well,
a little looney to put up with all the nonsense, the worry, the fears,
the doubts, the uncertainty on and on…. it ain’t easy! I can see where there
is so much attraction to a safe, secure, reliable job.
Although I personally would likely never step into that lane
where I would trade security for the passion, the love, the insanity
of running my own studio.
For me passion is only the start. Having goals, plans, desires that translate into
real, honest results and real action is the key next step. Passion wanes. And is
unreliable. There are many times where I couldn’t scrape together a  molecule
of passion if I tried.
But I kept going anyways. It’s that desire and unwavering  commitment
that makes it look like passion….
Also, passion needs to be something that we can express to our prospects and clients.
But not simply by telling them about our passions. We need to get it
together and create an experience, products and marketing on all
levels that oozes passion, if you will.
And most of the time, when we get this right, it’s not passion
that made it happen. It’s fact that we knuckled down and got to it.

So, if you want to get “passionate” about your
photography, start with creating some compelling,
kick butt goals. Having goals should be a reflection
of your passions anyhoo. But be willing to take the steps
to put those goals into action. Post your goals out front
where you can see it everyday!

This is very important. If you start to neglect your big picture
vision and have your goals clearly impressed on your mind
where it is you want to go, then, well, you know where you want to go.

That will help! You see? You don’t always need passion. Sometimes,
well, often, we need a serious kick in the butt. Even self induced. It counts! And
often works better than passion alone.

Click on this image and watch as Steve explains it in 1.5 minutes:
He says passion is key. BUT, he explains:
“because it is so hard….and it’s a lot of worrying…constantly…”
Wow….worry. That’s a huge one. I know when I start a new project,
and am risking more than just some time and webspace, as in
risking the house payment, my reputation, or anything big
enough that it causes worry, that the worry is the killer.
I’ve learned that. Took me 30 plus years. But I get it now. Worry
is part of the journey. I thought it was me. That I was a freak. But
when I hear guys like Steve express it,  I know it’s all part
of the journey, and the key, besides passion, hard work, commitment
and all, is managing the worry.
The key in that area is knowing you’re doing it for the right reasons. Knowing
you are making a sound, realistic decision (not one based on what your parents
think is best- Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate in College passed on the opportunity
to be a player in FaceBook because his parents advised him against it…ouch- or
what your comfort friends think is best…), from the heart of your passions,
and that you’ve planned, worked, worked, worked and continue to work
the plan, forever innovating, and sticking it out through thick or
thin until you see the vision become a reality.
This doesn’t happen over night. As Steve said:
“It’s really hard….”
 
That’s the truth.
 

yours in photography, Robert Provencher

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